I want to say right up front that this is not the typical kind of column that I would write. It is easy to write about something funny, exciting, or otherwise entertaining, but none of those story lines seemed appropriate given the miracle that our family has experienced over the past few weeks.
By now you will surely have read about our daughter Michelle and her medical crisis that resulted in our grandson Lincoln being born six weeks early. As a grandfather, I have tended to not worry about the delivery of a new grandchild, leaving the sleepless nights up to the expectant mother and father to do the fussing, but this time things were different.
This time it was our daughter who was having the complication. The diagnosis of preeclampsia isn’t meant to be a death sentence, but when it is accompanied by HELLP, it is life threatening. HELLP is an acronym for something too complicated to explain here, but suffice it to say, if you have it you are very sick.
There have been times when our extended family has been faced with something terrible, and when that happens we turn to the thing we really know how to do – pray. Phone calls are fine, personal visits are also nice, but ultimately the only thing that can be done is to pray.
There are any number of different religions in the world, each with its own way of praying, but as far as I’m concerned, all those petitions are going to the same deity. To me, this makes perfect sense because I just can’t imagine each of us having a God that handles our issues based on what our religion is. Trust in this – when you petition God about something that is happening in the world around you – your prayer is being heard.
Prayer comes in many forms, all of which go to the benefit of the person being prayed for. You can pray on your knees, head bowed, which is the most formal form of prayer, but it’s not always convenient. Having a prayer in your heart is spoken about in the scriptures and I take it to mean praying when you’re driving or otherwise unable to close your eyes and get down on your knees. We did lots of this kind of praying on our 1,005-mile drive to New Mexico, knowing our daughter was sick enough to need Life Flight transport to a better hospital some 200 miles away.
We are sort of private about things when it comes to medical treatment, but our daughter’s illness was bad enough that we asked our friends and extended family to pray for our her and her infant child. There were even a few business associates as well as a complete stranger who asked what she could do to help. “Pray for them” was my only thought, and I am certain that many of them did just that.
When enough prayers are offered, and the circumstances are such that it is God’s will that certain things happen, they will happen just that way.
A little over a year ago we had a nephew doing missionary service in the South Pacific. His location was so remote that he could only walk to certain parts of his island when the tide was out. The community he was in was built on top of a volcanic atoll, seeing civilization once per week when the plane came in. Not feeling well, our nephew took a Sulphur pill that another missionary had given him to help with his cold. He took the pill and immediately had a bad reaction to it, developing Stevens Johnsons syndrome, a life-threatening illness.
Getting him treated for such a terrible disease was nearly impossible. Needing help, his mom called each of her siblings, asking them to pray on his behalf. In the three days it took to get him cleared to travel his condition steadily improved. When they finally got him home his specialists at University Hospital in Salt Lake City couldn’t believe he was in as good of condition as he was. He should have been experiencing burn like sores on his entire body, including complications with his eyes that included blindness, but his faith, and the prayers of others on his behalf, helped to heal hm.
Our daughter and her tiny baby boy were released from the hospital last Wednesday, no doubt the result of her faith and the prayers of all those around her who petitioned God to make them whole.
A doubter would challenge the involvement that prayer, and petitions to God had on the behalf of our daughter, our grandson and our nephew, but we aren’t too concerned about them. We know how these miracles happened and who to thank for them.